Be free-floating, allowing the situation to surround you, and be in it. Take in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water.
This may bring incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what is means to be a jellyfish.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Music Monday! Who Let The Dogs Out?

After 2 full days of rain, it was good to have the sky not weeping, and to get out for a run! I walked up the hill to begin my run, I noticed a neighborhood family of dogs out for a walk. Now if you don't know, our puppy is afraid of other dogs, and this particular duo of dogs is a bit aggressive. I also was not in the mood to deal with the pulling of leashes, and the necessary pleasantries it would take to get by this gentleman and his two excitable dogs.

So what did I do? I turned down the side street I usually avoid. Why do I avoid it? It is one long, sloping and fairly steep hill. Going down is no problem, but up...well I have never been able to run up the entire hill.
After seeing the dogs, and not wanting to have to pass them, I decided today was HILL DAY. Today I would do it! On a Monday no less. All the while thinking...WHO LET THE DOGS OUT!?! woof woof woof woof........

I wish I could tell you I ran up the entire hill. I didn't. I almost made it, but just had to walk to keep my lungs from burning and my legs from giving out. I did make it farther than any other time, but alas, the last full yard I had to walk. 

I was proud still, and started running as soon as I caught my breath. But wouldn't you know it, I soon could see the dogs ahead. Again, not wanting to pass this crew, I turned down another sides street, yes with hills. So today was hill workout. And it turns out I ran slash walked 3.26 miles today, with and average pace of 11:51 minute miles. Not too bad considering hills were involved. 
So I say in the end, LET THOSE DOGS OUT, but get back scruffy, get back scruffy, get back you flea infested mongrel. (OK, he doesn't say get back scruffy apparently, but to me it sounds like that so I am goin' with it! I  think Scruffy is a good name for a few dogs in this neighborhood)

Yes, Rolling Stone ranked this song as the 3rd of the 20 most annoying songs, but it is still a great way to get through a Monday. Right? 

Besides, hills are a great way to start the week, no? If we start with the most difficult, everything is easier from here on out. Right?


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Not Your Grandma's Jewelry Workshop and Gold Buying Event

Do you have vintage costume jewelry that is beautiful and sentimental, but missing rhinestones, too short, or a bit out of fashion? (i.e. Grandma’s clip earrings) Well we are having a workshop to put your old jewelry to good use.
Shelly's design, using elements from other vintage pieces
May 3rd, starting at 12 noon, bring your cherished jewelry to this workshop at Blue Rage of Asheville, and re-design and transform this jewelry to be wearable once again. Shelly Johnston, Asheville based jewelry designer specializing in re-purposing vintage jewelry, will help you design and re-manufacture your pieces to meet your tastes and specifications.
Charm Bracelet designed by Shelly, bringing vintage to modern day.
If you don't have old jewelry, come anyways! Shelly will have a large selection of authentic vintage pieces for you to choose to purchase from, and you can still create a unique and meaningful necklace, earrings, or bracelet. 
Charm Bracelet using sentimental and meaningful bits and bobs.
Shelly is meeting one-on-one with you, or bring a friend along as well, and you have an hour long session to re-design and create a wonderful new piece with your old jewelry.

In addition, Terri will be in to take all that old, broken, unwanted gold off your hands, and give you something to treat yourself to either the workshop or something different. You will not need an appointment for this, just come on in with your gold.
There are many possibilities using old pieces from broken necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc.
This is a Shelly Johnston design.

Sign up HERE. Space is limited so be sure you get the time slot you want. 

Are you not in Asheville? But still want your old jewelry made into something new? Contact me, and Shelly can use your grandma's or mother's jewelry and make something just for you! She loves custom work. You would just mail your pieces to the shop, and consult with Shelly over the phone, maybe even Skype, and the two of you can design something fabulous. She will make it and ship back to you. 

A wonderful opportunity to make use of all that old jewelry.
See you there! OR I will hear from you soon. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Find ~ A Good Run Happens When You Least Expect It.

I started out my run today feeling more like walking. My legs were a little stiff-slash-sore, my knee letting me know I have been working out. So, I decided in my mind that today that I could take it easy. So I walked up that long steep hill at the end of my driveway.

Of course, I was out this morning at the school drop off time, and the traffic on my road and at the top of the hill was quite busy, making me glad I was taking it easy today. The entrance to the school was crazy, parents trying to get in, parent trying to get out, so I thought it best that I ran to get out of the way.  Well, once I started running, I just kept running. I felt like I was going an easy pace, still thinking I could make is a nice and easy run, nothing fast, not really pushing myself. So I ran.

I didn't push too hard, took it slow, and even snapped some pictures...not the best, but still it made me appreciate the beauty around, and appreciate the fact I was not breathing too heavy, and didn't hurt, and didn't care what I looked like. I just ran.

Me, looking like Forrest Gump,
sans beard of course.....
Yes I know this sounds like Forrest Gump. I have referenced him before, because when I think 'I just felt like running' I think it in Forrest Gumps voice. I even hear that lady on the bench listening to his story say 'So, you just ran!'. I did just see the movie, again, the other day so this is fresh in my memory.

Forrest Runn-innggg
So when I was walking up the driveway, taking pics trying to decide what today's Friday Find would be, I found my shadow LOOKED like Forrest Gump when he was running, somewhere in the middle of his 3 years, 5 months, and 2 days of running. 

So, I laughed. Yes, my silhouette looks like Forrest's would have looked here in this picture. But I don't care. I just ran, and I felt good! It turns out I went farther than usual and at a very decent time! Even walking some, I managed a similar time to when I run the whole time!
My Running/Walking Log for April as of today.
Best of all, my Friday Find, which I was having a difficult time actually finding, is that I found a good run sometimes happens when you least expect it.

Have a wonderful Friday, and I hope you have find something fabulous.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday Thought of the Day ~ Inspiration

Some days, it really does feel like we go after our inspiration with a club, bat at it until it falls into our minds, and take it for our own. 

Some days our clubs are smaller, and our inspirations fall delicately into our laps, and we welcome them in. 

Either way, we seek, we find, and we are inspired. 
Happy Clubbing.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Walking on Wednesday ~ The Camel's Straw

I feel like I just took on the weight of the straw that broke the camels back.
I have been carrying much weight. Most times, I don't notice how heavy it really is. But sometimes the weight really brings me down. 

Yesterday, as I was already having a difficult time with the weight, I received news about my car that, shall we say, was not good. 
To make a long story short, I took my car in for a routine oil change, and was presented with a long list, an expensive list, of urgent repairs needed. The kind that means I should not be driving the car unless repaired. No, it's not the mechanic - my car is at the age and mileage that these things start happening. But of course the timing is terrible. 

Already stressed about finances, this happened at the worst possible time. On top of several other things that fall into the 'not regular expense' category. I am struggling with that difficult question - How are we going to get through this?
That crazy straw is heavy, that straw has made me panic, made me question everything I have done to get to this point. Am I going to be that crazy straw in the picture soon? How do I get out of this mess? What do we do to get through this?

Over coffee this morning, I search for inspiration, and hope to get some clarity. Sometimes doing this gives me great ideas and lifts the weight. And then I realize, I am searching through bird toys
Yes, bird toys - with straws! You search for 'straws' and see how distracted you get! I actually have birds that would love these toys, and for now, this distraction works. 

I think I can make the birds some new toys! I have straws (really, I have the plastic ones - I am not speaking metaphorically here), and surprisingly I have paper rolls I don't know what to do with! (I got the wrong sized rolls for the credit card machine at the shop, and conveniently the bank makes it nearly impossible to return them!)
How does my mind change focus so easily? Suddenly my mind turns from the heavy weight of stress, to creating and thinking of trying something new. I even found some great straw artwork!
So, how do we get through the tough times? How to we keep going? 

We just do. We keep putting one foot ahead of the other, we keep searching for ideas and inspiration. 

We do not give up. We find a way, because we must. There really is no alternative, really what else can we do? 

We keep going, we keep trying, we keep moving, we keep taking chances. 

Maybe we take that straw off our back, and make it into something we can use..... 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Music Monday! English Tea

Good Monday to you all - and Happy Earth Day. 

This morning had me noticing the landscape. The green filling in all the trees, the beautiful flowers daring to bloom after the cold nights we have had, and of course enjoying the bright sunshine. 

At the shop, we have been enjoying tea from Cindi's Sacred Garden, and today is the last day of this sample. So I thought it fitting Sir Paul McCartney serenade us while we enjoy some Strong Body Tea. Perhaps not proper English Tea, but oh so good, and good for you.

This weather, the sunshine, flowers, green grass and leaves on trees, it makes me want to sit in miles and miles of an English garden, stretching past the willow tree......

Hope I can sit and enjoy some tea in my yard later this afternoon, even though there are no willow trees, and the garden is sparse with a few bulbs, not yet blooming. But I am determined to enjoy. 

Enjoy your day, every day, even if it is just for an afternoon tea, in a less than English Garden.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Find ~ My Favorite Flower and the Motivation to Keep Going

I should have known today was going to be a tough day when a sink full of dirty dishes and smelly garbage greeted my in the kitchen, and then the kids missed the bus. I hadn't even noticed the grey and gloomy skies until I was driving the kids to school. 
But, I still got my running gear on, and headed out for my run because of a picture I snapped yesterday. It is of my favorite flower, and just the thought of seeing it today was enough to get me out there. 
It is so beautiful there, surrounded by weeds, old leaves, and brush. It is a splash of color on a not so colorful hill, right next to the sidewalk. Even though I didn't want to run, I thought the site of this would be worth getting out there, plus the added bonus that I didn't skip a day.
It was sprinkling just a bit, and keeping in mind what a friend of mine posted the other day - "You're doing well! don't let the rain scare you > Running in the rain is great." Besides it was just barely 'misting', not bad at all. So off Lady J and I  went. 
I shot this picture to show what I must get past (well up) every day before I even start my run. The cloudy day rightly shows how ominous it is. The ski was actually quite beautiful.
Then, as I was positively thinking this would be great, a downpour of rain hit us. 
I stood in the road, while the dog was pooping, saying completely out loud, rather loudly - "Really? Seriously? Now it pours? Really?"
Well, I really wanted to just go back down the driveway and go home, but I was already out here, already wet. I decided I may as well get fully wet, and up the hill we went. At the top I start running, and today this was more difficult than it has been lately. I really had to dig deep to get going, even came very close to just walking, but I reasoned it would be done faster if I ran. So I ran. Some days are just harder than others, as any runner knows. Well today was one of those days. 
At the beginning of each song on my headphones, all I thought was how I wanted to be done. But I kept going. It is when I passed the Iris I started to change my thoughts to 'well I have come this far, there is no point in quitting in the middle'
I turn around shortly after seeing those flowers and am greeted with this hill right after I turn around. At this point, I HAVE to run up the hill to get home, and thus it is a turning point in more ways than one. I have reached half-way, I am headed home, and I know if I can get this far, I can certainly get up the hill back home. Again, there really is no point quitting in the middle. 
Did I mention there was a strong breeze with the rain today? And guess what, at this point, at the bottom of this hill where I just turned around to go home, that strong wind was coming right towards my face. At this point the thought really sunk in: There really is no point in quitting in the middle, when you have come so far. Wind against you, rain hitting you, no matter. This is the motivation to keep going. You have started, made it quite far, the breeze is nice, even it is against you. You can't quit now - you must finish. 
The brilliance of the color of the flowers was just enough brightness to help get me through. Plus, the second flower that is not quite open in the picture above - that was blooming today. Two beautiful purple Iris. In the end, it was worth it. I am better for finishing, better for not giving up, better for getting out there. 
This is my Friday Find, the beautiful purple Iris there in the 'wild', plus the Motivation to Keep Going. May your Friday have a wonderful 'find' in it. It is there, you can find it, sometimes you just need that splash of color and a nice strong breeze.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Walking on Wednesday ~ Am I Really Inspiring?

As I mentioned on Monday, my last few months have been filled with feelings of going back and forth with ideas, running 'Hot N Cold' so to speak. One of the few constants I have tried to maintain is running, or at least mixing runs with walking. I even found motivation and groups online to help me through the mornings where it was so hard to get out there and do anything. I tried to share, for me and others, because if it helped me I knew it may help someone else.

That's me in the middle there in the green shirt - asking
"Why is there always a hill at the finish?"
I ran the Shamrock Run back in March, which actually was a very hard race. I felt much more prepared for this race, and was determined to run the entire thing with no walking. Well, I did it, no walking, ran the whole thing, but my time was worse than the Jingle Bell Run, plus I felt worse after the race! My lungs ached, my head ached, and I felt it took me longer to recover from this race. 

Just crossed the finish.
Worse time than the Jingle Bell Run.
The hills were the thing that did me in I believe. Why is there always a hill right at the finish line?? I was so disheartened after the race, it took me over 2 hours before I felt sort of normal again! 

I took a 2 week break from running. No run, no walk, no posting about running, no talking about it, and no motivational things that went with it. I didn't want to bring to anyone's attention I hadn't been running, after so much talk of running and the race and how great it all was, etc, blah blah. Plus, I wondered if people were getting sick of my always talking about running, since I thought most of my friends are not runners and didn't care to see post after post of such things.

MapMyRun app. Love it. 
I started using an app for my phone to track my workouts, once I started back working out again. I could bring my phone and record my runs or walks, and see my progress, see when I needed to step it up, or cool it down. I didn't write about my runs or walks, thinking just posting was enough reference for me. I could see the results, and probably no one else cared. I never thought it was that important to anyone else, and if it was it would be enough to anyone who paid attention. 

I also began much self reflection. I started questioning myself and what I was doing, why I was doing it, and what SHOULD I really be doing. The stresses of earning enough were weighing heavy, and I just felt I was doing something wrong.

Then one of my friends came into the shop (she makes beautiful jewelry that we sell), and she told me she misses seeing my posts about my runs! Huh? I was shocked. I had no idea. She said 'Your posts about running inspired ME to start running!' Now I was really surprised. 

'Me? I INSPIRED you to RUN? And wait - you MISS MY WRITING about runs??' 

Was this a sign? Lately, I have been told many times, in many different ways, to listen to my intuition, to listen to my inner voice. The problem has been - I couldn't understand it! I couldn't hear it clearly!! But now, is this what my intuition was trying to say? 

'Get back to writing, creating, and also grow your business. You can do all these. You can make writing, and creating, part of your business. So use your running to grow yourself and your business - Inspire others with your running and writing.'

Back to the same road
I dreamed of before.
My driveway, the subject
of many posts, inspirations,
and beautiful things.

I like to think that it is what I should be focusing on. After all, it was once a goal of mine to be able to write while earning a bit doing so. I know there is some way I can get more rewards for what I do. And since running is now something I would not give up, I think it makes sense that I use this for inspiration. It has helped me, let me help others. 

I must be able to inspire more people, even if running isn't something they do. I can motivate in many ways, and writing and sharing my pictures may be just what can get me through the lean times.

So I am back here, blogging, writing, sharing, and hopefully inspiring. The rewards will follow, I am sure of it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Music Monday! Hot N Cold

It's been one of those days.....
Actually, 'one-of-those-days' has dragged out for months for me now.....
But it all hit me yesterday, when I stood in the closet looking at my clothes and could not decide what to wear! I pulled out dresses, then couldn't find a slip, pulled out dresses that didn't need a slip, but they needed ironing, pulled out dress pants, but was SO not in the mood for pin stripes, and then, I had a meltdown.

All the while, my husband having his coffee, frustrating me even more trying to get me into things that just were not comfortable, that I just was not in the mood to wear. All the while he is perplexed as to why I just can't put on one thing and wear it! "See?",  he says putting on a tee shirt with holes in it and jeans with bigger holes. "It's easy!" Of course he didn't have to go and open a shop and try to sell of course he didn't have to look nice, professional, and put together. I DID.

Grrrr. Men just don't get it! Some days you just don't know what you want to wear!!

Then I finally settled on jeans and a comfortable shirt, and rushed to the car to go open the shop. My daughter was with me, thankfully, and completely understanding my meltdown (us girls get it!). She turned on the radio and trying to help said, "Here, listen to Katy Perry, (who just happened to be on the radio at the time) it will make you feel better." 

Just then Katy sang "You change your mind like a girl changes clothes..." 

We both started laughing! "Exactly!!!", we agreed, it's a girl thing! Suddenly I was better. 

But it did leave me thinking, does this parallel my life at the moment? Am I going in too many directions that I don't know which one is ME anymore?

Why do I think this? For one, I haven't blogged in 6 weeks! There was a time, not long ago at all, where it was my goal to write and try to make a little $ doing so. 
Second, I haven't made Toekini's in just as long, well except for a few...but I haven't been creating regularly! I actually was beginning to make something of the Toekini craze, and I have begun to see success in selling my creations. Why did I let these things go by the wayside??

Well, the shop, of course. But Some days I just wonder if it is all worth it? Can still keep the writing and creating aspects in my life as I had before, and somehow earn enough doing all of it?

I am being told to listen to my intuition, specifically this: This is a time for cutting through the illusion and remembering who you truly are. Dare to Walk your Path, and cultivate the impersonal observer and far-seeing mind within. 
I have also been told my intuition is strong right now, but I just can't seem to hear it clearly! I have so much on my plate, so much going on, I am starting to feel like I am hot, then I am cold. I don't know what my intuition is trying to tell me at all, even that seems all over the place, and in a way I am more lost trying to hear it. 

So, hot or cold, hot and cold, this is how I am rolling lately. I have decided one thing though, I will get back to blogging. So lucky you - you will get to join me in this all-over-the-place journey. You can be hot and cold with me! 

And perhaps my journey will somehow reward me with a livelihood AND satisfaction, all in one. Is that what my gut is telling me? Who knows, but at least I decided on something to wear.